The Estimates for 2012/2013 financial year is scheduled to be debated in the House of Assembly on 12 March 2012. The debate will generate interest in Barbados for several reasons. Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler will have to be mindful that Barbados is currently battling significant economic challenges, at the same time a general election looms. To add intrigue to the political landscape, on the weekend Opposition Leader Owen Arthur – to the surprise of many – informed a political meeting held at Haggatt Hall that Mia Mottley will reply to Minister of Finance in the Estimates Debate.
Some view the decision by Arthur with suspicion given the fracture which was widened when the Barbados Labour Party parliamentary group switched allegiance to Owen Arthur. On the other hand others have suggested that Arthur tossed an olive branch to Mottley and thereby paved the way to present a united front in the lead up to the next general election.
Of interest to BU will be the approach of Mottley in the debate if she accepts the offer to reply. Since Mottley was replaced as opposition leader she has been careful to avoid a rabid partisan stance on the issues. She has instead taken the high road. Her reply to Sinckler in the Estimates will give Arthur the opportunity to judge if she is prepared to unequivocally toe the party line. If she does, Arthur, the master tactician, would have won the war in the tug war with Mia.